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Weekend Links with Jon Marthaler: Referee madness and the Twins' farm system

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, College hockey Updated: November 12, 2011 - 10:06 AM

Each week Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?


Tuesday night in Calgary, Wild winger Nick Johnson got kicked out of a game for supposedly headbutting Jarome Iginla. In the real world, what happened is that Iginla started a dustup to try to get his team going, tore Johnson's helmet off, punched him a few times, and then started whining to the refs that Johnson was headbutting him even though all Johnson was doing was trying to hold on. Wild beat writer Michael Russo, like anybody outside of the Calgary metro area, didn't see why Johnson had been thrown out, other than because Iginla had yelled at the refs to call a headbutt. And so Russo tweeted this: "Maybe LaRue and Kowal should let Iginla officiate the 3rd period since they're letting him call majors and game misconducts now."

In theory, I should be old enough and calm enough to ignore bad calls by referees, to accept them along with the bad bounces and minor heartbreaks of sports. In reality, I was ready to drive to Calgary to attack some assistant referees. And my reactions are multiplied for WCHA referees, especially one in particular who shall remain nameless. I wish I could understand why bad referees can provoke me to such uncontrolled outbursts of rage. Perhaps they serve to highlight the inherent unfairness of life. Or maybe it's because they can't see an elbowing penalty that happens three feet in front of their face.

On with the links:

*You've probably read a lot about the Penn State scandal, but I invite you to read one more thing: Spencer Hall's ruminations on the banality - and therefore the terror - of evil.

*Paul Flannery at The Classical (which is newish, and which I really think I'm going to like quite a lot) tracks down Spaceman Bill Lee, one of the great baseball characters ever.

*Staying at The Classical, Marine veteran Matt Ufford writes about war, in honor of Veteran's Day. Key quote: "Not everyone comes back broken, but nobody comes back whole."

*Want to know a big reason why the Twins are in such a mess? Jesse at Twinkie Town looks at the bareness of the Twins' farm system over the past few years.

*And finally: the NBA isn't the only league having a labor dispute at the moment. Consider the case of Australian Rules Football, where players get less than a quarter of team income, for a sport that appears to be basically bare-knuckle boxing interspersed with wind sprints. That 50-50 split's not looking so bad now, eh, NBA folks?

That'll do it for me. We close with this quote from Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson: "No one … there's not many people there [at home games]... It's also nice to go on the road too, playing in some big arenas with a lot of people." On behalf of the people of Minnesota, who are still bitter: AH HA HA HA HA AH HA HA I HOPE YOUR TEAM FOLDS AND YOUR RINK BURNS TO THE GROUND.


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